How Creativity Helped Me Lose 25 Pounds in 100 Days, Part 2

Jessica Peterson

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As I revealed in part 1 of my weight loss story, the process of working on my first film has been a blessing when it comes to the scale. I wrote that first post with some hesitancy just for the fact that, like many women, I’ve struggled with body dysmorphia since I was old enough to make the distinction between normal knees and Italian knees. I spent my teens and twenties hiding my catalogue of physical flaws under sweaters tied around my waist (thank God for grunge), Spanx, concealer, and even chemical relaxer on my frizzy hair (conclusion: there is only one Halle Berry).

I’m happy to report that gaining 30 pounds actually helped my self-esteem in a weird, seemingly contradictory way. I started analyzing not just my appearance but what I have to offer the world as a person. Am I caring? Am I creative? Am I intelligent? Am I thankful that these Italian knees get me up volcanoes in the Philippines and across cobblestone streets in Macau? Yes, overwhelmingly, yes!

Those twenty-five pounds have nothing to do with who I am or what I can do. Am I happier at a lower weight? A little, but I’m still very actively trying to maintain it, so it’s not all skinny jeans and bare midriffs over here. I’m still running and watching what I eat, though I do indulge a bit more each week.

Dangling Carrots

There’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself as a motivation. In fact, dangling carrots have been good for me. It took buying new workout clothes and shoes to get me running. I also made a killer playlist and bought new headphones with bluetooth capabilities. To keep myself going while I’m running, I imagine myself as a character in a film with the music as my soundtrack. Sounds crazy, but it keeps my mind in an alternate universe and less aware of any discomfort or fatigue I may be feeling.

The Hubs likes to reward me with food each time I reach a new weight loss goal. So, yes, I have indulged along the way. (We have a box of frozen donuts for just such occasions.) Now that my appetite is smaller, I don’t need a whole plate or bowl of anything. A few bites makes me feel good. If I’m hungry, I’ll snack on popcorn or have a smoothie instead of filling up on empty calories like chips…

The Strictly Enforced Ban on Kettle Chips & Bubbly Shakes

So, yeah, there’s no way around it, I had to cut out my vices. I went cold turkey on Kettle Chips and bubble tea shakes for a few months. I still drink coffee with sweetener; I still eat a few French fries or chips here and there; and I still drink alcohol. I eat bread every single day. Everything in moderation.

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Pickles Are a Complete Meal

Did you know pickles have zero calories? Did you know that was even possible… for something that grows in the ground, that you chew, and digest, and love to have no energy? I still don’t believe it. C’mon scientists, you’re telling me I can eat something without even one teeny, baby calorie? Preposterous. (Obviously, I wasn’t the brightest star in my science class.)

Thank God I like pickles… Enough to eat them for lunch, dinner and bedtime snacks (but not, like, all three meals of pickles, because, ew, gross). Pickles became my go-to snack for munching on while I worked, watched TV, or [insert other mind-numbing activities]. They’re great because all that crunching feels like eating something really substantial. And do you know how easy it is to make homemade pickles? Simply cut up some cucumbers and put them in the empty pickle jar with the juice!

I love cucumbers. I eat a lot of cucumber tomato salads too. And now for a recipe….

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Serves 2

  • 1-2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thick or thin, however you like them
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced or diced into chunks
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (I could drink this stuff)
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
  • Minced garlic to taste (optional)

I ate as much of this salad as my little heart desired.

Poop Tea

There’s no nice way to say it, this Chinese diet tea cleans you out. It doesn’t taste bad either. Just stay close to home, if you know what I mean.

Eating More to Get Over the Plateaus

Turns out low-calorie diets and intense workouts have their limitations. It was shocking to find out that my weight loss plateau could only be broken by eating more. I was shocked, but of course, elated to stuff my face for a while. For 4-5 days, I simply ate whatever I wanted without overeating. I thought for sure I would gain back a bunch of weight. However, after I resumed by low-calorie diet and exercise, another five pounds came off. Then five more… I’m now at a place with my metabolism that it’s much easier to lose weight than ever before (in my entire life, in fact). And I don’t say that gloatingly. I’ve never in my life found it easy to lose weight. Even five pounds was a struggle.

Phew, you made it to the end of this post (or you just scrolled down). Either way, only a couple more sentences to go!

In conclusion, this is my story and mine alone. If you take anything from this rambling monologue at all, know that you creative types out there have a powerful tool that you can harness any way you want. Use it and use it well and may the good vibes and skinny jeans be forever on your side.

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